View Full Version : 4344 Mk2

04-21-2003, 11:35 AM
Hi all,

I am about to turn my audio world on it's head and purchase a used pair of JBL 4344 Mk2's.

I understand that they were a model for the Japanese market and have recently been replaced by the 4348. Information is scarce to say the least!

Any tips and advice would be very helpful to this newbie!

Best Regards


Earl K
04-22-2003, 07:08 AM
Hi Merlin
You can get 2 pages of jpg info over at the Lansing Library which is attached to this site. Go to JBL Pro Speakers (http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/pro-speakers/pro-speakers.htm) and you'll see jpgs of cut sheets for quite a few JBL Pro Monitors .

For the "operators manual" email me at KZLaudio (KZLaudio@aol.com) and I'll send it to you.
( the file size is bigger than the maximum allowed for attachment postings here at this site )

Included in this 14 page manual is an overview of the components;
ME150H 15' woofer, 2123H - 10" midrange, 275H neodymium compression driver, 2405H slot tweeter. Woofer/enclosure tuning is 32 Hz.

regards <. Earl K

Ken Pachkowsky
04-22-2003, 10:45 AM
I don't want to open a can of worms here, but be aware that you may not like the sound of Japanese designed JBL's as much as the North American counterpart.

I have been told by several people IE: Don M that JBL's designed specificly for that market are quite different. I believe they are tuned for a quite different bass responce etc etc.

Ask Don for clarification on this. I believe he had a long conversation about this with Greg Timbers at JBL. I also believe it is one of the reasons Harmon does not make these available in the USA.


04-22-2003, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the responses gentlemen.

Maybe I should search the site a bit more before posting:(

I have listened to the 4344's and found qualities that really did hit the spot, particularly the naturalness and effortlessness of the bass response.

My quandry is whether to go for these used at $4000 or to build something from scratch. I use a Tact Audio RCS2.2X Room correction system, which sadly due to the size of rooms here in the UK is essential for full range reproduction.

This would allow me to build an array, maybe using 2226H for the bass, using the Tact to provide dsp generated crossovers and time alignment. Would the tuning of the 4344 Mk2 for the Japanese market be simply a matter of toal balance? If this were the case, surely I could correct for that using the Tact

The plan is to consign the Tact to pure correction duties, and to add some electronics to suit the speakers (possibly Mcintosh or Audio Research).

Great site by the way, it's a shame that JBL is so frowned apon over here. An oasis of sanity if ever there was one;)



Ken Pachkowsky
04-22-2003, 11:28 AM
I had no idea you had heard them. If you like them, buy them. If in good condition, 4000.00 seems a decent price.


04-22-2003, 11:52 AM
I agree, that does sound like a good price.
Here the 4344s( NOT mk 2s!) go for 2700 USD.
I have seen only one pair of the MARK 2s and I would bet that they were higher than the price you are quoting.

I haven't seriously auditioned either model.

05-15-2003, 01:53 AM
Hey all,

in our lounge room we use a pair of JBL 4344's as the front L & R's. we bought these from somone who had brought them over from japan to australia and was going back and could take them with him. they were a replacement for a pair of 4350's that me and my dad couldn't seem to balance in the room. now that i am more into JBL gear i am upset he sold them. if you need any infromation on these speakers i can get it for you. we had a manual for these my dad got from channel nine where he worked. the 4250's we had aslo came from channel nine in one of the studios and we had the woofers re-coned (and the mids i think) we also had to re glus the crosovers and replace components on the crossover that had fallen out of there mould since they had been sitting on there side for so many years. we might also have alot of information in manuals for the 4350's, again if anyone is interested in this i can put it up.

hope this helps,


Ken Schwarz
05-19-2003, 07:44 AM
Take a look at my reply to another 4344mk2 post below. I love this speaker. It can be tricky to position right, but once it's dialed in, what a treat!

The 2226 is really a mid-bass driver. You can lift the bass with the Tact, but it is fighting the design.

I built a pair of Pi-4 pro speakers (see www.pispeakers.com) with a JBL 2227/2426 driver set. The sound is completely different. The 4344mk2s have deeper bass extension and more extended highs, but you would hope they would since they are 4-ways. They also sound better balanced at lower volumes than the Pi-4s, which need to be driven at moderate+ volumes to start sounding great. The Pi-4s were much punchier than the JBLs, which are more doo-woppy and atmospheric. Does that help?

I'd love to hear what the Tact does on the JBLs. I have often wished I could try this experiment. Michael, if you are in the Boston area and want to try the Tact on my JBLs, drop me an email.

I bought my 4344Mk2s used in a shop for about $5000 in Japan, so $4000 sounds good.

The 4348 is a successor to the 4344Mk2 in Japan. It uses biradial horns for the high and ultra-high freq. compression drivers. The 4344Mk2 has a 2405 on top and a proprietary 275ND 1" compression driver on the highs with a dispersion lens on the end of a narrow horn. The 275ND with lens is a funny anacronism, since the neodymnium magnet it uses was the breakthrough technology to obsolete the horn lens many years ago. But the 434x series has its followers all the same.

I believe that your Tact unit also has a crossover function, which will allow you to bi-amp the 4344mk2s. There is a switch on the back (near the battery) which let's you toggle the crossover between the 15" woofer and the upper three drivers. You should crossover around 290Hz at 24db/oct and put a brute of an amp on the woofer. I've read many reports that this cleans up thickness in the midbass.

05-20-2003, 12:28 AM
Hey guys,

People have mentioned that the JBL 4344's from the japanese market were of a different design in the crossovers or drivers. the pair of JBL 4344's we have came from japan also and my dad aggrees that they were just lacking the bass they needed but un aware of different models in the Japanese market. at the time we had a spare pair of woofers sitting around that were 2231's that we had got reconed with 2235 cones. We decided to pop these in and see how they sounded and they just improved the bass of the 4344's so much. The woofers that had been in the 4344's before we swapped them had thinner magnets that were much wider almost the width of the driver itself. They were kind of like the 12" woofers in JBL 4312's that we use as rears. So nopw they have the same woofers as in the JBL 4350's and we think they are excellent now, this swap we tried stopped my dad from selling them. We then just sold the original woofers from these 4344's to someone for $800 (this is $800 Aus not US).

hope you like this interesting story,


05-21-2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Michael
Hey guys,

...my dad aggrees that they were just lacking the bass

...at the time we had a spare pair of woofers sitting around that were 2231's that we had got reconed with 2235 cones. We decided to pop these in and see how they sounded and they just improved the bass of the 4344's so much.


Well, what do you know....The oldest is still the best...:)